Kochi port involved in shark selling: PETA

Last Updated: Friday, April 16, 2010 - 00:38

Panaji: Endangered sharks are being "killed
openly" and sold at a state government-owned port in Kerala, a
top animal rights NGO has claimed.

"The government-owned port at Kochi in Kerala bans
visitors carrying camera inside. We did an undercover
operation through spy cam and found that sharks were being
sold there," senior campaign coordinator of People For Ethical
Treatment of Animals (PETA) Nikunj Sharma told reporters here.

Although sharks are protected under the Wildlife
Protection Act of 1972 and their sale is banned, the rare fish
are killed openly at this port and sold, Sharma said.

In a ten-minute-long video, the NGO has shown how sharks
were tortured to death and bred in unhygienic condition.

Sharma quoting a survey from 1999 to 2000 said as many as
591 sharks were killed for their meat as well for liver oil in
India.

"PETA`s investigation concluded that illegal fishing and
government`s irresponsible attitude towards the problem are
endangering sharks and other marine life," he said, expressing
grave concern over the overexploitation of fish resources.

"India is the world`s third largest producer of fish,
accounting for almost 64 lakh tones of fish share annually,"
PETA says.

PETA, which will be petitioning Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh with the documents on the overexploitation of fish
resources, said that commercial fishing devastates ecosystems.

"Bottom trawling, involves dragging huge and heavy nets
along the sea floor, is one of the most damaging,
unsustainable fishing practices in India," Sharma said.

"The populations of deep water life forms who are either
hauled up or crushed by the nets` wheels can take decades to
recover," he said.

-PTI



First Published: Friday, April 16, 2010 - 00:38

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